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Review: Joey Sturgis Tones Transify Plug-in

Transify provides bypass, attack, sustain and cut-off, along with polarity flip, I/O level control and Clip

Today, it’s all about the envelope: plug-in convenience has ushered in an era of transient/sustain control on every single drum and percussion track, if we want. And who doesn’t? Combine that with EQ, compression, reverb and triggering, and rather amazing drum tracks are within anyone’s reach—acoustically-proper tracking room, or not.

Starting as hardware now decades ago, SPL’s Transient Designer led this pack while many others followed suit in software form. Joey Sturgis Tones’ Transify (VST2/3, AU, AAX, RTAS) is a little more flexible than other quite capable choices due to its four frequency band functionality. Here are the details:

Transify provides bypass, attack, sustain and cut-off, along with polarity flip, I/O level control—useful in attenuating output—and Clip—preventing overs and adding aggression, well serving “drums du jour” for so many genres.

Most of these controls are separated into frequency bands, and that’s where the real fun begins. Kicks, snares and toms can be substantially re-shaped: detailed, sharpened and shortened or conversely darkened, thickened and lengthened, as well as combinations in between. Well-isolated sounds and samples accept the most processing, allowing a wide range of wonderfully artistic choices. Close-miked drums are afforded more sustain, or less (within reason), molded into the right frequency pocket, avoiding cymbal-bleed harshness.

Meanwhile, I had ample success with synths via Transify, while basses worked pretty well, too—though long sustains encouraged some clicks and noises. Troubled acoustic guitars (or should I say “technically-challenged acoustic guitarists”?) can be beneficially tamed with careful and moderate use, as well.

JST’s Transify delivers another layer of control that does what EQ, compression and room mics could do organically, but in a way that doesn’t sound quite like EQ, compression or ambient miking. At $55 direct, it’s a minimal investment into maximum percussive control.

Joey Sturgis Tones